How to Become Independent

The other day, I went to a movie-plex on a weekday and watched 2 back to back movies with one big cup of coffee in between. Another weekday afternoon, I was lying on my building’s rooftop under the sunlight while reading a book on my Kindle. On many weekends, I go sleepless working on a script or some freelance work I am given to finish on the next day. Is this the kind of Independent life, anyone like to think? You decide.

But before you decide,

Let’s face it, we are the slaves of the ultra-modern lifestyle with lots of desires and dreams. Considering the changing scenario of metro and tier-2 cities (to some extent) in India, the day is not too far when we shall be lost in an unbearable blackhole and shall become hopeless car-chasing dogs who are not able to see his end-goal.

With the governance (not just the current government) failing to create jobs every year, the situation is going to be worse. I am not trying to scare you, rather my whole idea of discussing this point is that I see this current scenario as an opportunity, an opportunity to do anything, an opportunity to become anything, an opportunity to be independent.

But how can we become independent?

Wouldn’t it be difficult, if not impossible?

Yes, it is difficult but so is finding a job nowadays.

Image result for Lying under the sun surreal
Photo Credits: Kylli Sparre

Before I deepen my analysis meter, I must confess that I am not fully independent but on a path to become one. I am a freelancer in writing, filmmaking, theatre, and marketing. My methods are completely based on my on-going experience.

  • Be Open to Unconventional Work
    In India, there are several conventional jobs (like medical, engineering, govt. officials, etc.) which are overloaded by masses. Although increasing demands in these areas may not slow down in the near future, the applicants are far more. Thus, we need to direct our focus to the unconventional works. It may not necessarily be the art world; although there is a lot of scopes to fill this space. Some examples are a chef, food/film/art critic, theatre, headhunter, adventure guide or instructor, blogging, vlogging, film and many more. There is a zillion number of fields you can look up to. All you have to is to choose, explore and see whether you want to stay in it for a longer period or the lifetime.
  • Acquire Skills – Try and Fail
    Once you choose to stay in a field, you must experience every aspect of that area. Like David Fincher, a renowned filmmaker, says: “I watched talented people who I liked and admired get kind of spun, and I vowed never to let that happen. I was like, ‘I want to know what every m*****f**k*r in the room does.’”
    For me, I chose writing. To improve and enhance my skills, I began practicing different forms such as story, blogs for many industries & topics, content for websites, crafts of storytelling by understanding and creating a screenplay, play scripts, short stories & poetry. I went a few steps ahead by letting myself float in content marketing and explore the social media structure by creating short contents. Now, I am good with anything related to writing.
    The other field I chose was filmmaking. I learned by joining the amateur and experienced team as a part of the production team, learned different aspects through some free classes, sessions and education & analysis video. I liked watching movies and series since my childhood. My count of watching movies in almost all genres has drastically been increased. I have found groups that can participate in movie discussions; where I can give and take critiques and recommendations. I have made three movies – worked as a director, producer, production manager, writer and actor. I am soon planning to learn and hone my skills as an editor.
    In theatre, I was kind of blessed working with many theatre artists and mentors. I am exposed and have enough experience in multiple forms of theatre including 4-5 forms of interactive & improv theatre, clown theatre, one-act play, mime, street play, etc.
    I am not trying to boast my skills but the whole idea is to convey that to elevate on any particular field, one needs to spend time (sometimes, additional) to learn the various area of that particular fields. It needs your patience, time, energy and your sleep (that’s what I lost). It will worth it once you seek opportunities.
  • Develop A Habit of Doing Multiple Jobs
    We know that our mysterious human brain is far capable than we can imagine. Taking multiple projects and managing the timelines can have two big benefits. First, you will understand your potentials & limitations and see how far you can push yourself. Second, you will start making a repo with the company or person by working repeatedly on their projects. In the later stage, it will come back to you as an option to earn more money without compromising your big chunk of time.
  • Be An Expert in More Than One Area
    Never learn only one craft in your life. It limits your opportunities and also, blocks your imagination and creativity. You must become an expert in at least two fields that help you form a solid portfolio with ample opportunities at hand without worrying about failing.
  • Know When to Switch – Additional
    This I still have to explore. Have you observed those YouTube channels which have been making the same kinds of video over and over? Their fan base like it which creates a comfort zone and makes them relaxed. There comes a time when the entire progress hits the saturation level and they won’t have a clue what to do. They fail. You must understand your threshold and before your work becomes too routine and monotonous, you must come out to create something newer or bigger or newer and bigger.

While the wheels of life are becoming complicated and sometimes bizarre, it’s imperative that we must create feathers and fins to fly and swim.

We are the magicians of our world. So, believe that we can create wonders.

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